Sue Mulvihill is aware that doing her job might give you a headache.
“We just know that it’s going to be challenging for people this summer,” the Minnesota Department of Transportation deputy commissioner and chief engineer said Thursday as she prepared to launch approximately seven months of work, which will include more than 200 state projects.
However, she said the inconvenience of all that roadwork comes with benefits.
“They are working on projects that are important to all of us,’ she said. “They are important to the economy. They are important to the state.”
Mulvihill was joined by Rochester, Olmsted County and other state officials in laying out plans that will dot roadways with orange cones and barriers. She said drivers, too, have an important part to play in the success of the projects — that is, to drive with caution around construction crews.
“It’s really vital that people pay attention in the work zone,” she said.
Some of the area’s first road construction is likely to be seen in Rochester, with the continuation of the city’s Fourth Street Southwest reconstruction project.
The $5.3 million project between First and Sixth avenues started last year to replace pavement, add bicycle facilities, improve pedestrian safety, upgrade the sanitary sewer capacity in downtown and replace a watermain.
The work, being funded by special assessments, local utility funds, state aid funds, Destination Medical Center sales tax dollars and state DMC funds, is expected to resume this month. City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski said a meeting with contractors is set for next week to determine the schedule.
One of this year’s 30 MNDOT projects in this region is also set to resume efforts early in the season.
Mark Schoenfelder, the assistant district engineer for program delivery in the department’s District 6, said work on the Highway 63 bridge replacement over the Mississippi River at Red Wing will resume as soon as floodwaters recede.
The project started in 2017 and is expected to be completed next year.
Olmsted County plans
Drivers on Olmsted County’s roads likely won’t see much construction activity until May, after road posting are removed, according to Scott Holmes, the county’s transportation supervisor.
The first work that will likely affect drivers is expected to be at the northernmost portion of North Broadway and heading east on 75th Street Northeast. The roadway preservation project on the road also known as County State Aid Highway 33, will add a new surface, with work expected to be completed in the early summer.
Holmes said work could start earlier on County Road 5 near Pine Island, which is the second phase of an extension project expected to be completed next year. While it could be the county’s earliest project this year, the current dead end likely means little inconvenience for drivers.
Other city and county projects this year include:
• Reconstruction of Sixth and Seventh avenues from Second Street Southwest to Fifth Street Northwest: Expected to start in June, the estimated $5.9 million project will replace deteriorated pavement and undersized sanitary sewer, while providing pedestrian enhancements, bike lanes and bump-outs at most intersections.
• Reconstruction of North Broadway Avenue: Work will start in related alleys in June, with roadway construction expected next year on the $19.1 million project. The work is intended to begin the transformation of the Broadway corridor and will include a complete reconstruction from Civic Center Drive to the bridge at Silver Lake.
• Preservation of the bridge at Seventh Street Northeast: The historic structure in the Silver Lake Park area will see work starting in May, with the roadway being closed as work from the bridge to 11th Avenue Northeast adds buffered bike lanes and a new surface.
• Reconstruction of County Road 9: The planned $5 million county project on what is known as Collegeview Drive will start this year with completion expected in 2020. It will include a new surface, as well as the addition of a roundabout at Silver Creek Road.
• Bridge replacements are planned on the southeast portion of the county on highways 32 and 30, as well as County Road 110, with work being completed in the fall.
• Reconstruction of utilities and pavement rehabilitation on Highway 35 in Stewartville: With work planned for late summer or early fall, drivers can expect to see a detour during a portion of the work.
• Repairing concrete on West Circle Drive: Work on the rehabilitation effort is expected to take from mid-summer through the fall.